Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June 3, 2008

In some ways, it has nothing at all to do with writing, but in other ways, it has everything to do with it:

One individual gave a long speech that sounded as though it had been written sometime during the early hours of this morning, bracketed to add a thanks to the voters of South Dakota who stood for her in the face of a storm of delegates opting in public for her opponent.

One individual, standing before a Jell-o green background, stammered, huffed, and chuckled through what was meant to be a rebuttal to a rather elegant speech that rose on harmonies of hope and enthusiasm and potentials for a fresh start.

Three speeches, three points of view, one history. In this sense it is all about the power of stories we must tell ourselves.

I am of an age where I can recall hearing the outrage of FDR coming through the radio, telling the world that December 7, 1941 was a day that will live in infamy, playing in counterpoint with a voice I heard coming forth from the radio when a young politician from Illinois took the title of presumptive nominee of his party for the Presidency of the United States. Before long, there was the opportunity to check in on newspapers throughout the world, each in its own way and point of view remarking on the fact that a milestone had been reached on this very day. You could feel the cogs slipping a bit as the United States found its gear for a few moments.

Of course the individual from the Jell-o green background will continue to speak of the naivete and foolishness of this instrument of new format and a better definition of story. His own story is the political equivalent of a James Frey memoir, fabricated, fantastic, and ill-formed.

We have those precious moments before us when we have an aggregate choice of a new kind of story. There are those who will resist new stories and new genera and new endings. We may indeed be catapulted as F. Scott Fitzgerald observed at the end of Gatsby, "ceaselessly back into the past."

But on the other hand Things will never be the same.

Speaking of newspapers, we may get some high comedy from tomorrow's edition of The Onion, being told "Hillary Declares Self President Anyway, Invites McCain to Be Running Mate" However gracious her real-time speech this evening, it was still in the spirit of declaring June 3, 2008 as being about her. It wasn't. June 3, 2008 was about a new kind of story, yet to be written.


Anonymous said...

As usual your writing draws me on for several posts. And unfortunately I am still digesting, so consider this a hello, with a follow up on thoughts sometime in the near future. (At least I hope.)

x said...

I love today's New York Times video summary of what went wrong with the Hilary campaign. It showed four photos side by side, explaining that many people are sick of this pattern:
Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton.